very interesting explanation, I feel somewhat better informed now.
glad to live in a country where protest doesn't result in monstrous retaliation. And so sad that other people have to live a place where it does, and where it all then escalates due to all these hatreds.
"Syria has artificial borders that were created by European colonial powers, forcing together an amalgam of diverse religious and ethnic groups. Those powers also tended to promote a minority and rule through it, worsening preexisting sectarian tensions. Zakarias argument is that what were seeing in Syria is in some ways the inevitable re-balancing of power along ethnic and religious lines. He compares it to the sectarian bloodbath in Iraq after the United States toppled Saddam Hussein, after which a long-oppressed majority retook power from, and violently punished, the former minority rulers. Most Syrians are Sunni Arabs, but the country is run by members of a minority sect known as Alawites (theyre ethnic Arab but follow a smaller branch of Islam). The Alawite government rules through a repressive dictatorship and gives Alawites special privileges, which makes some Sunnis and other groups hate Alawites in general, which in turn makes Alawites fear that theyll be slaughtered en masse if Assad loses the war. (There are other minorities as well, such as ethnic Kurds and Christian Arabs; too much to cover in one explainer.) Also, lots of Syrian communities are already organized into ethnic or religious enclaves, which means that community militias are also sectarian militias. That would explain why so much of the killing in Syria has developed along sectarian lines. It would also suggest that theres not much anyone can do to end the killing because, in Zakarias view, this is a painful but unstoppable process of re-balancing power."
is it an inevitable process of balancing power though? is south africa a good example of minority rule to majority rule?
that was interesting especially the point about sectarian rebalancing with the sunni majority against the priviledged alawite minority. the same thing as in the sunni minority being displaced by the shia majority in iraq with sadaam leaving, and what the shia opposition are seeking to do in bahrain against the sunni monarchy.